May 24, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

May 24, 1806


The child was very wrestless last night; it's jaw and the back of it's neck are much more swolen than they were yesterday tho' his fever has abated considerably.    we gave it a doze of creem of tartar and applyed a fresh poltice of onions.    we ordered some of the hunters [2] out this morning and directed them to pass Collins's creek if possible and hunt towards the quawmash feilds. William Bratton still continues very unwell; [3] he eats heartily digests his food well, and his recovered his flesh almost perfectly yet is so weak in the loins that he is scarcely able to walk 〈four or five steps〉, nor can he set upwright but with the greatest pain.    we have tryed every remidy which our engenuity could devise, or with which our stock of medicines furnished us, without effect. John Sheilds observed that he had seen men in a similar situation restored by violent sweats. Bratton requested that he might be sweated in the manner proposed by Sheilds to which we consented. Sheilds sunk a circular hole of 3 feet diamiter and four feet deep in the earth.    he kindled a large fire in the hole and heated well, after which the fire was taken out a seat placed in the center of the hole for the patient with a board at bottom for his feet to rest on; some hopps of willow poles were bent in an arch crossing each other over the hole, on these several blankets were thrown forming a secure and thick orning of about 3 feet high.    the patient being striped naked was seated under this orning in the hole and the blankets well secured on every side.    the patient was furnished with a vessell of water which he sprinkles on the bottom and sides of the hole and by that means creates as much steam or vapor as he could possibly bear, in this situation he was kept about 20 minutes after which he was taken out and suddonly plunged in cold water twise and was then immediately returned to the sweat hole where he was continued three quarters of an hour longer then taken our covered up in several blankets and suffered to cool gradually.    during the time of his being in the sweat hole, he drank copious draughts of a strong tea of horse mint. [4] Sheilds says that he had previously seen the tea of Sinnecca snake root [5] used in stead of the mint which was now employed for the want of the other which is not be found in this country.—    this experiment was made yesterday; Bratton feels himself much better and is walking about today and says he is nearly free from pain.—    at 11 A. M. a canoe arrived with 3 of the natives one of them the sick man of whom I have before made mentions as having lost the power of his limbs.    he is a cheif of considerable note among them and they seem extreemly anxious for his recovery.    as he complains of no pain in any particular part we conceive it cannot be the rheumatism, nor do we suppose that it can be a parelitic attack or his limbs would have been more deminished.    we have supposed that it was some disorder which owed it's origine to a diet of particular roots perhaps and such as we have never before witnessed.    while at the village of the broken arm we had recommended a diet of fish or flesh for this man and the cold bath every morning.    we had also given him a few dozes of creem of tarter and flour of sulpher to be repeated every 3rd day.    this poor wretch thinks that he feels himself of somewhat better but to me there appears to be no visible alteration.    we are at a loss what to do for this unfortunate man.    we gave him a few drops of Laudanum and a little portable soup.    4 of our party pased the river and visited the lodge of the broken Arm for the purpose of traiding some awls which they had made of the links of small chain belonging to one of their steel traps, for some roots.    they returned in the evening having been very successfull, they had obtained a good supply of roots and bread of cows.—    this day has proved warmer than any of the preceeding since we have arrived here.—


a fine morning    the Child was very restless last night its jaw and back of its neck is much more Swelled than it was yesterday. I gave it a dost of Creme of Tarter and a fresh Poltice of Onions.    ordered Shields, Gibson, Drewyer, Crusat, Collins, and Jo. & rubin Fields to turn out hunting and if possible Cross Collins Creek and hunt towards the quar mash fields. W. Brattin is yet very low    he eats hartily but he is So weak in the Small of his back that he Can't walk.    we have made use of every remidy to restore him without it's haveing the desired effect.    one of our party, John Shields observed that he had Seen men in Similar Situations restored by Violent Swets.    and bratten requested that he might be Swetted in the way Sheilds purposed which we agreed to. Shields dug a round hole 4 feet deep & 3 feet Diamuter in which he made a large fire So as to heet the hole after which the fire was taken out a Seet placed in the hole.    the patent was then Set on the Seat with a board under his feet and a can of water handed him to throw on the bottom & Sides of the hole So as to create as greate a heat as he Could bear.    and the hole covered with blankets supported by hoops.    after about 20 minits the patient was taken out and put in Cold water a few minits, & returned to the hole in which he was kept about 1 hour.    then taken out and Covered with Several blankets, which was taken off by degrees untill he became Cool.    this remedy took place yesterday and bratten is walking about to day and is much better than he has been.    at 11 A. M. a canoe came down with the Indian man who had applyed for medical assistance while we lay at the broken arms village.    this man I had given a fiew doses of Flower of Sulpher & Creme of Tarter and derected that he Should take the Cold bath every morning.    he Conceited himself a little better than he was at that time.    he had lost the use of all his limbs and his fingers are Contracted. We are at a loss to deturmine what to do for this unfortunate man. I gave him a few drops of Lodman and Some portable Supe as medisine.    4 of our men Crossed the river and went to the broken arms Village and returned in the evening with a Supply of bread and roots which they precured in exchange for Awls which were made of pieces of a chane—    we were visited to day by the 2 young men who gave Capt. L. and my Self a horse each at the village.    those men Stayed about two hours and returned to their village.    this day proved to be very worm.


Saturday 24th of May 1806.    a clear pleasant warm day. Several of the natives cam down the river in a canoe. Several of the party went across the river to the village and Several Indians came across to our Camp. Several hunters went out to day a hunting. [6]


Saturday 24th.    This was another fine morning, and two hunters [7] went out. One of the men [8] that were sick, still keeps unwell, with a bad pain in his back; and is in a helpless state. Yesterday we gave him an Indian sweat and he is some better to day.

1. Lewis's first daily entry in his Codex L. It is preceded by an astronomical observation on the front flyleaf dated June 9, 1806, and placed there. (back)
2. Including Drouillard, Labiche, and Cruzatte. (back)
3. Various diagnoses of Bratton's ailment have been offered. Some persons have suggested an abdominal infection, but this seems unlikely. One possibility is an inflammation or strain of the sacroiliac joint. Other possibilities include a herniated intervertebral disc, or an infection of an intervertebral disc with osteomyelitis of the adjacent vertebral margins. If the last, then the heating was probably not the cause of the recovery. Cutright (IGHB), 100; Chuinard (OOMD), 372. (back)
4. Probably nettle-leaved giant-hyssop, horse-nettle, Agastache urticifolia (Benth.) Kuntze, which is common of the region. Field, or horse, mint, Mentha arvensis L., is another, less likely possibility. Hitchcock et al., 4:250, 260–61; Welsh et al., 329; Moore (MPMW), 130–32. (back)
5. Seneca snakeroot, Polygala senega L. Fernald, 955. (back)
6. Including Drouillard, Labiche, and Cruzatte. (back)
7. Clark mentions several men as being sent out: Drouillard, Cruzatte, Collins, and the Field brothers. (back)
8. Bratton, who had been ill since the stay at Fort Clatsop. For details of his illness and treatment, see the captains' entries of this date. (back)